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NFL Hall of Fame Odds – Favre, T.O. Headline Nominees (UPDATED)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in News

Updated Jan 17, 2018 · 9:39 AM PST

UPDATE: The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 25 semifinalists on Nov. 24. The players listed below who didn’t make the list have been crossed out. The biggest longshots left on the board are a pair of lineman, Tony Boselli and Sam Mills, and WR Torry Holt (all of whom were originally 500/1).

Since 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, has been honoring the best of the best from the gridiron – and also Joe Namath. (Oh snap, Broadway Joe slam!)

The 2016 nominees were recently announced and, based on the current selection process, four to seven of these (mostly) living legends are going to be inducted next year. Being inducted into Canton is, of course, a tremendous honor. But it doesn’t come without its strings. If I were, say, Brett Favre, I’d be tempted to withdraw my name from consideration just so I didn’t have to sit through the Hall of Fame Game.

Favre, a first-time nominee, is a shoe-in for induction. After that, the field is a bit more open, but you can count on some more of last year’s finalists getting their foot in the door.

We set the odds for all the 2016 nominees, below, position by position.

2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Odds

[NB: *Denotes a 2015 top-25 finalist; ALL CAPS denotes a first-time nominee.]

Kurt Warner*: 5/6
Drew Bledsoe: 50/1
Vinny Testaverde: 100/1
Phil Simms: 250/1
Steve McNair: 500/1

Warner is going to get in eventually, but with Favre getting in this year, there might not be room for another QB in 2016. Bledsoe and Testaverde both hit the 40,000-yard plateau, but that’s not necessarily a ticket to Canton anymore, especially not with Favre and Warner still on the ballot.

– Sascha Paruk

Running Backs:
Terrell Davis*: 2/1
Roger Craig*: 3/1
Edgerrin James*: 4/1
Jamal Lewis: 40/1
Ottis Anderson: 60/1
Tiki Barber: 80/1
Shaun Alexander: 150/1
Eddie George: 300/1
Herschel Walker: 400/1

In what is somewhat of a down year for running backs, if one is to get voted in, Davis has to be the favorite. An interesting case, Davis accomplished more in his brief career than most other nominees did in their decade-long runs. A league and Super Bowl MVP, and member of the 2,000-yard club, his accomplishments over just five full seasons should be enough to get in one day and, after reaching the final 15 last year, perhaps that day is soon?

Other possibilities include Craig, a three-time Super Bowl winner and one of only two players to rush and receive for 1,000 yards in the same season. He was a semi-finalist last year and is long overdue to get in. James is currently the highest on the all-time rushing list among eligible players.

The bad news for all these backs: Ladainian Tomlinson is eligible next year. If they don’t get in this summer, it could be a bit of a wait.

– Eric Thompson

Wide Receivers:
Marvin Harrison*: 2/3
Isaac Bruce*: 10/1
Torry Holt: 500/1
Sterling Sharpe: 1,500/1

Voters are going to have the exact same conundrum as last year when three deserving wide receivers were on the ballot. Tim Brown got the nod in 2015, and now T.O. will battle with Bruce and Harrison for the next spot. Harrison (14,580 receiving yards and 128 receiving TDs) was a consummate professional and is more likely to win the hearts of voters than the slightly more productive Owens (15,934 yards, 154 TDs), who was always a lightning rod for controversy.

As for Bruce, the yardage is there (15,208 yards), but his touchdown numbers aren’t on par (91 receiving TDs). He was axed before the top-ten last year (unlike Harrison). Holt and Sharpe will have to wait for the logjam to clear.

– Sascha Paruk

Tight Ends:
Mark Bavaro: 1,000/1
Jay Novacek: 1,000/1

With only some underwhelming names in the queue, it’s looking like there won’t be another tight end voted in until Tony Gonzalez becomes eligible in 2019.

– Eric Thompson

Offensive Linemen:
Orlando Pace (T)*: 1/3
Kevin Mawae (C/G)*: 8/1
Mike Kenn (T)*: 100/1
Joe Jacoby (T)*: 100/1
Steve Wisniewski (G): 150/1
Jay Hilgenberg (C): 250/1
Chris Hinton (G/T): 300/1
Tony Boselli (T): 500/1
Jeff Bostic (C): 1,000/1
Jim Covert (T): 1,000/1
Kent Hull (C): 1,000/1
Jon Jansen (T): 1,000/1
Jim Lachey (T): 1,000/1
Mark May (G/T/C): 1,000/1
Tom Nalen (C): 1,000/1
Nate Newton (G): 1,000/1
Chris Samuels (T): 1,000/1
Mark Schlereth (G): 1,000/1

Pace, like his former teammate Warner, was in the top-ten last year. That signals good things for the longtime Ram. Mawae was a semi-finalist in his first year of eligibility. He’s apt to get in one day, but not yet. Same goes for Faneca, a first-time nominee. Everyone else on the list can safely give up their reservations at the Canton HoJos, especially Nate Newton; the selection committee is definitely going to puff, puff, pass on the Cowboy great.

– Sascha Paruk

Defensive Linemen:
Leslie O’Neal (DE): 18/1
Simeon Rice (DE): 35/1
Bryant Young (DT): 60/1
Dexter Manley (DE): 75/1
Charles Mann (DE): 100/1
Fred Smerlas (NT): 200/1

O’Neal and Rice weren’t even part of the 113 nominees last year, despite looking like the best two among this year’s D-line crop. O’Neal is 11th on the all-time sack list, level with Lawrence Taylor. He overcame a potentially career ending injury in his rookie year to play for 13 seasons. Rice tallied 122.0 sacks and won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay. His Bucs teammates have said he was the most dominant rusher of the era; we’ll see if voters agree.

Young, who was a dominant nose tackle for the 49ers for 14 seasons, is another longshot, but his credentials look better than the rest. Manley and Mann played on the same D-line in Washington for the most productive years of their careers. It would seem unfair to put one in over the other, but the functionally illiterate Manley was the better of the two if that should happen.

– Eric Thompson

Kevin Greene*: 1/3
Karl Mecklenburg*: 6/1
Clay Matthews: 50/1
Cornelius Bennett: 500/1
Willie McGinest: 500/1
Matt Millen: 500/1
Sam Mills: 500/1
Zach Thomas: 500/1
MIKE VRABEL: 1,000/1

Green reached the top-ten last year but fell just short. He’s very likely to be enshrined this year. Mecklenburg has been in the top-25 four years running, but never the top-ten. It’s hard to make the jump to the hall without first reaching the top-ten. Clay Matthews was in the top-25 once upon a time, but hasn’t even made that cut the last few years. It’s all over for him. You can pencil in newcomer Mike Vrabel to get into the Hall of Fame down the line – the New England Patriots’ Hall of Fame that is. (Oh snap, Vrabel slam!)

– Sascha Paruk

Defensive Backs:

Steve Atwater (S)*: 7/2
John Lynch (S)*: 4/1
Ty Law (CB)*: 20/1
Rodney Harrison (S): 25/1
Darren Woodson (S): 200/1

How the hard-hitting Atwater hasn’t knocked down the door to Canton yet is beyond me. A member of the 90’s All-Decade team, and a two-time Super Bowl champ, Atwater was one of the most feared tacklers in the game; just ask Christian Okoye. Lynch played a similar style of game and was a finalist last year; so they appear to be the likeliest candidates of the bunch.

First-timer Milloy (already a member of the Best Name Hall of Fame) is a longshot to get in this year. As for serial rapist Sharper, good luck. No, wait, bad luck, you POS.

– Eric Thompson

Morten Andersen (K): 30/1
Gary Anderson (K): 1,000/1
Sean Landeta (P) 1,000/1

Andersen is the best kicker not in the Hall of Fame, but the voters tend to take a while to put legs in Canton (see Ray Guy). Morty will make it one day, but this class has a lot of talent at other positions that should be addressed first.

– Eric Thompson

Special Teams:
Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB): 1,000/1
Steve Tasker (also WR): 1,000/1

As with kickers and punters, special teams gets such little respect from the voting committee that, despite being two of the best at what they did (Mitchell as a return man and Tasker as a gunner), these two are destined to be on the outside looking in. The Hall may one day finally vote a kick returner in, but it’s far more likely that Devin Hester will be the one to break down that barrier.

– Eric Thompson

Tony Dungy*: 2/3
Don Coryell*: 5/2
Jimmy Johnson: 10/1
Bill Cowher: 50/1
Tom Flores: 50/1
Mike Holmgren: 100/1
Chuck Knox: 1,000/1
Dan Reeves: 1,000/1
Marty Schottenheimer: 1,000/1
Dick Vermeil: 1,500/1

Dungy just missed last year, reaching the top-ten. He looks set to enter this year. Coryell should the next coach after that, but two coaches in one year is a lot to ask. Jimmy Johnson and his two Super Bowl titles look good down the road (no jokes this time).

– Sascha Paruk

(Photo credit: (WT-shared) 2old at wts wikivoyage [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)

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